Friday 22 June 2007

My current training routine

My current self-training routine

One of the things I would like to share on this site is my current self-training routine (I will upload them on here every so often). Of course, this often changes, so this 'karate blog' can give some insight into what I am doing, in real time. My self-keiko isn't overly flamboyant, but it does keep me 'training', and allows me to monitor my personal progression. My belief is "Why work out unless you are getting better?" Also, I consider 'self-deception' as the biggest weakness of most karateka, especially in the way they percieve their own technical skill. Based on this philosophy, I developed a strict self-monitoring system. This 'self-check system' is the nucleus of my karate training, as it dictates to me what I must work on (and what I must alter in my regime). In addition to Stamoulis Sensei and Asai Sensei, who both encouraged this approach to karate, this 'system' has been my main instructor. For those wishing to follow Asai Sensei's way of karate, they have no choice but to do this, otherwise they can never get beyond 'standard' JKA technique. Asai Sensei's karate was unlimited as he found his own way, via strict self-reflection, and physically pushing himself to the limit daily.


Perhaps the most interesting aspect of my training, for people bothering to read this, is my integration of Shotokan and Asai style karate. This is particularly interesting in regards to some of the drills and kata I practice.


Here is my current training regime.

Kihon keiko:

Since arriving back in Japan I have pretty much been focusing on the following techniques. Please note that I have only provided a general overview of techniques and repetitions here, as opposed to my 'personal targets'. I will describe some of these in subsequent posts, in particular, aspects pertaining to Asai style karate.

(1) Chudan gyaku zuki (from stationary zenkutsu dachi, and thrusting up into zenkutsu up from seiza) practising both seiken and nakadaka-ippon ken. (2) Stationary mae keriage from seiza. (3) Jodan tsumasaki geri from stationary zenkutsu (this is a kick with the toe tips, and is a kekomi). (4) All variations of muchiken implementing haito, shuto, shihon nukite and ganken. I train this typically from a stationary fudo-dachi. (5) Asai Sensei's second stationary empi uchi renshu. My typical repetitions are currently 30 each side, but sometimes I will do up to 100 repetitions (that is, 50 each side). In all cases I typically do a warm up set of usually 20 reps.


For Ido-Kihon I am following a standard Shotokan routine: (1) Sanbon zuki. (2) Sanbon mae geri. (3) Yoko keage kara yoko kekomi with the same leg in zenkutsu dachi. (4) Yoko keage ashi o kaete yoko kekomi (in kiba dachi, changing legs in the typical syllabus fashion). (5) Mae geri kara chudan oi zuki. (6) Jodan mawashi geri kara chudan gyaku zuki. (7) Ushiro geri kara chudan gyaku zuki. (8) Jodan age uke kara chudan gyaku zuki. (9) Jodan age uke kara chudan mae geri sara ni chudan gyaku zuki. (10) Chudan soto ude uke kara yori ashi yoko empi uchi, uraken yokomawashi uchi sara ni chudan gyaku zuki (with the usual stance transitions). (11) Chudan uchi ude uke kara chudan gyaku zuki. (12) Chudan uchi ude uke kara jodan kizami zuki sara ni chudan gyaku zuki. (13) Kaiten shinagara gedan barai kara chudan gyaku zuki. (14) Chudan shuto uke in kokutsu dachi. And (15) Chudan shuto uke kara shihon nukite (with the standard stance transitions). Currently I am doing eight to twenty repetitions of each technique, all with maximum snap. In saying that, I usually only do around 10. Also, I tend to have rest periods. Usually I do equal amounts of slow repetitions to warm up and 'groove' my technique.



My current focus has been the Tekki-shodan, Kankudai, Sochin, the five Joko kata, Seiryu, and Hushu. Repetition, and training in general, have currently been dependent on my physical condition, but as a general rule, I will usually practice any given kata at least three times. In saying that, in some sessions I will go through up to 30 kata (i.e. - 10 kata three times each). Other days I will just practise one or two kata five to ten times each. Usually I am more organised in my kata training. I hope to return to a more 'set' and disciplined system soon. My excuse is the Kyushu heat, humidity, the rainy season, the human race not getting to Mars yet etc ...



Besides free sparring with some of local 'rugged boys' I have mainly been focused on further-refining my practical kata application (bunkai/oyo-jutsu). Over the Japan summer holidays, I'm being paid to teach a number of self-defence courses, so I will include some gems from my latest discoveries.


Weak points in my training...

The weakest point in my training since being back in Nippon, is not having regular access to a makiwara, heavy bag, focus mitts or impact shield. Before, in New Zealand, 'full-power' impact training was something I experienced on a daily basis, and in my opinion is nothing less than crucial. I will certainly invest in a new makiwara soon!

© André Bertel, Japan 2007

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